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My proposals for ICT in Education in Knowledge Economy Project
08/17/07

-- see note --

ICT infrastructure

The number of computers, especially in the rural areas, should be increased at least at the value of the EU indicator of number of computers connected per 100 pupils: 11.3.

More computers should be located in classrooms, in libraries, in teachers rooms. 61% of EU25 schools provide computers in classrooms.

Investigate the possibility to provide to schools presentation toolkits consisting of ( wireless ) computer / laptop, projector and interactive whiteboard for be used in the classrooms.

The provision of other ICT equipments could be taken into account: whiteboards, laptops, printers, projectors, PDAs, scanners, digital video cameras.

Broadband access for schools should be provided - now 44% of Romanian schools are connected, while 67% in EU25.

Assure ICT support and maintenance: extend the possibility that schools sign contracts for ICT support or maintenance with professional ICT service providers.

Create a website for ICT support ( on MERY or MCTI websites ):

  • with tutorials,

  • FAQ ( both could be organized as wiki ),

  • live chat,

  • discussions forums,

  • online courses for administrators, technical staff, teachers who want to improve their knowledge,

  • presentation of free and open source solutions,

  • download area,

  • blogs of practitioners,

  • RSS feeds.

A methodology and a specific online integrated system are needed to the ongoing monito-ring and evaluation quantitative and qualitative of ICT use and impact in education ( ARACIP makes no references to the ICT evaluation and doesn't have an online system for evaluation ).

  • Such a methodology is needed to inform decision makers on whether to expand or modify a particular policy or programme and develop future actions.

  • The online system could offer the possibility to schools to evaluate the grade in which ICT is used and to suggest future steps.

  • The system to implement the European indicators and benchmarks [10], Romania has to report in EU and international programmes.

Open Source Software

Some specific actions related to open source software could be:
  • implement pilot programmes in schools to evaluate the using of OS

  • encourage the use of open source software in schools and in educational institutions for operating systems, applications, for virtual learning environments and content management systems, for open educational content development

  • the training programmes for teachers and administrators to contain open source solutions presentations and applications, not only proprietary solutions

  • teach pupils and students skills, not specific applications; the ICT and Technological Education manuals to present both proprietary and OS solutions

  • implement a dedicated website ( or an area on the Ministry's website ) which provides technical support, download area, best cases sharing, online communities for actors from education systems and other practitioners

  • organize ( be partner ) round tables, conferences related to open source software

  • equip schools with DVDs containing OS software and guides

  • partnership with organizations which activate in OS, with user groups.

Educational Content - OER, proprietary solutions, transparency, quality criteria

  • The educational content which already exists, mainly in AeL, should be used more intensive by teachers and students: connections with curricula, the skills they develop should be more clear; encourage and support the sharing of best practices - could be published on the MERY website, and aggregated from other sites, blogs of educators.

  • Partnership with European Schoolnet and eTwinning Schools and participation in projects related to OER, presented above. Schools to be informed and stimulated to participate. It seems that in the autumn Romania will be a partner in the eTwinning programme, with ISE as the national coordinator ( update: in October 1st, Romania has become partner ). Also the possible partnership with Romania appears in European Schoolnet - Work Programme 2007 [20].

  • Create a repository with the educational projects in which Romanian schools and educational organizations have participated, such as Leonardo, Socrates, eContent programmes: trained human resources, gained experience and skills, produced materials could be used, projects could be continued or new ones could be started.

  • Partnership with publishers, broadcasters, libraries, cultural institutions to provide access to their own resources.

  • Implement an online system for collaborative production of open educational resources by teachers and students, based on Web2.0 collaborative technologies. OER can make a valuable contribution to a diversified supply of learning resources, supporting methodological diversity, and promoting the individualization of the learning process:

  • content organized by tags, specifying target groups, disciplines, skills, types of activities in which to be used; define quality criteria; possibility for peer review, user comments and ratings, best practices sharing. It is not necessary that the resource to be created and uploaded on this platform, but it is possible that a link to a resource elsewhere created by user is shared, and then validated with the other users

  • collaborative tools to create materials; templates could be provided

  • community - users profiles could include interests, name, location, skills, inte-rests specified and searched by tags; users to be able to work together for produ-cing educational materials, communicating in discussions forums, and using the collaborative tools; support also for blogs, wikis, RSS feeds

  • training - self-paced tutorials, but also online courses could be organized for teachers and students on this platform.

  • In general, the teachers training programmes should contain topics related to OER, new licenses and tools to create educational materials in a collaborative manner.

  • Encourage a competitive market for educational resources production, guarantee transparency of supply and equal opportunities to market actors.

Define a set of quality criteria:

  • pedagogic principles:effective learning and teaching, the focus from presenting content to engaging learners in productive learning activities. assessment, improve practical and cognitive skills

  • design principles: resource design, accessibility, interoperability.

An online system to evaluate the educational software with a database of suppliers could be implemented.

  • A central portal can be created to provide the connections with all the categories of resources above.

Collaboration and Sharing - Web2.0 technologies

  • Inform, train, and encourage the teachers and pupils to use Web2.0 technologies: RSS, blogs, podcasts, wikis, collaborative bookmark systems, social networks.

  • Topics such as online plagiarism, new licenses, online security should be discussed with pupils.

  • The educational websites should offer information related to these issues.

  • Provide RSS feeds for all the educational sites developed, for better monitoring by possible users.

  • Promote blogs written by innovators in education.

  • Offer hosting service for educational blogs and wikis, using open source solutions.

  • Encourage and support schools and other educational institutions to use virtual environments for learning and collaboration based on these solutions.

Personalisation of Learning - Virtual Learning Environments, eAssessment, ePortfolios

Start with a pilot program to investigate the impact on education of a 21th century open school, having an integrated online platform, based on open source solutions and open source resources and practices:

  • spaces for communities of learning and interest dynamically created

  • traditional courses supported by a virtual environment with online resources and discussions, being accessible from anywhere, anytime, from home too, open also to parents to monitor their children's progress

  • online tool to assess pupils knowledge and skills, and to provide online guidance and materials for development

  • support for pupils ePorfolios which will be ongoing developed during their lifelong learning; learners set up and develop their own ePortfolio for documenting and reflecting on the progress and results of their study work

  • school online resources accessible to the community

  • online projects collaboratively developed with other schools

  • blogs, wikis to share experience.

Teachers Training - flexibility, online courses, new technologies

  • The standard for ICT skills for teachers to take into account the new skills recommended by EC, required to collaborate, to share practice, to use the new technologies, to moderate online environments.

  • Encourage a competitive market for training programmes, guarantee transparency of supply and equal opportunities to market actors.

  • During the training programmes, teachers should be able to know and practice new collaborative and communication technologies.

  • The training programmes for teachers to contain open source solutions presentations and applications, not only proprietary solutions; also OER, new licenses, tools to collaboratively create educational materials.

  • The possibility to acreditate online courses would assure flexible in-service training, assuring the tailoring to the specific needs, and would give examples of good practices

  • Competences developed via formal, informal and non-formal to be recognized, as recommended by EC.

  • Implement an online system to assess teachers ICT competencies and to offer guidance for future development.

  • Peer mentoring and collaboration in online communities - with online tutorials and guides, case studies, discussions - assure experience sharing, learning from the others experience.

  • Encourage the use of blogs, wikis to share experience and to continuously learning.

  • Train e-trainers, use the experience of organizations which activate in this domain, in Leonardo, Socrates, and Grundtvig programmes too.

Posted by Carmen at 08:59:39 pm into the following categories: Cursuri online, Bloguri in Educatie, eLearning in scoli/facultati, Notes in English


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Carmen Holotescu
Director Timsoft
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